When it comes to yoga, the most common image that comes to mind is an individual sitting in the classic lotus position with their thumb and forefinger touching each other. However, did you ever stop to think that there might be more to this simple hand gesture? These hand gestures, known as yoga mudra help you dive deep into yoga and meditation by improving the flow of energy in your overall body.
Do you know your body is comprised of five elements? These elements comprise of Agni (Fire), Vayu (Air), Akash (Ether), Bhumi (Earth, and Jal (Water). Unfortunately, the slightest imbalance in either of these elements can lead to an imbalance in your mental and physical health.
With that said, let us focus on what are Mudras and their story of origin in the yogic arts.
Yoga Mudras – Meaning & Origin
In simple terms, the word Mudra refers to hand movements that guide the energy flow in your body to specific areas in your brain. There are different types of yoga mudra with each one providing you a different benefit.
You practice these yoga mudras in synchronization with right breathing to increase the flow of the sacred Prana energy in your body. This causes the internal energy to rebalance which leaves a positive impact on your body and mind.
Let us look at the origin of this effective yoga technique.
Although the origin of yoga mudras is still a mystery, these have been part of Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism among other cultures and religions. The purpose of these hand movements depends on the specific tradition.
Right from focusing on the subtle body energy, healing illnesses, and even helping you develop psychic abilities; yoga mudra has a lot to offer to everyone. You can learn these subtle hand movements under the tutelage of a knowledgeable yoga trainer at a Yoga Alliance certified yoga school.
Do you know that yoga mudras have a considerable role in not just yoga but also Ayurveda? Read further to know more.
Yoga Mudras In Yoga & Ayurveda
Both yoga and meditation use Mudras with Pranayama (breathing exercise) during numerous yoga asanas like Sukhasana, Virasana, and Padmasana among others. As stated above, the use of Mudras activates the flow of life force throughout your body. It also calms your mind by focusing it on the touch of your hands and dive deep into the yoga practice.
Moreover, according to Ayurveda, the disease is a result of imbalance in your body which happens due to deficiency of any of the five key elements.
Do you know each of the five fingers in your hands represents one of these elements? Below are the elements and the fingers that represent them.
- Fire Element – Thumb
- Wind Element – Forefinger
- Ether Element – Middle finger
- Earth Element – Ring finger
- Water Element – Little finger
However, that is not all. If you plan to become a certified yoga teacher with complete knowledge of the spiritual aspects of yoga, you should know about Yoga Mudras.
That said, yoga experts have compiled a list of 30 Yoga Mudras. Pay attention to the information below for this will help you understand what each yoga mudra offers you.
The 30 Yoga Mudras
As stated above, your body is comprised of the five elements, and the slightest imbalance in any of these impacts your mental and physical health. Doing yoga along with inculcating these yoga mudras guarantees the correct functioning of your body and mind.
With that said, let us check out the 30 different yoga mudras.
1. Chin Mudra
The word Chin in Sanskrit language means consciousness. This yoga mudra helps keep your mind grounded and helps you focus during meditation. It connects you with the higher self, removes negative energy, and improves your overall mood. Chin Mudra is the most commonly used yoga mudra in meditation, asana, and Pranayama sessions.
2. Chinmaya Mudra
Also known as Gesture of Awareness, Chinmaya Mudra promotes good physical and mental health. The word Chinmaya in Sanskrit refers to the supreme awareness and you can practice this empowering yoga mudra for a maximum of 45 minutes.
3. Rudra Mudra
The Rudra Mudra is one of the yoga mudra that offers you numerous health benefits. The word Rudra is also one of the names of Lord Shiva. This is the best yoga hand gesture for those suffering from dizziness, general exhaustion, or any heart-related health issues.
4. Adi Mudra
Often used as a symbolic hand gesture in spiritual yoga sessions, this yoga mudra is helpful when you want to calm the nervous system and your mind. Adi Mudra prepares you for practicing Pranayama exercises as it opens up the higher lobes of your lungs.
5. Linga Mudra
A beneficial yoga mudra that helps you lose weight by burning the extra fat in your body. This hand gesture generates heat in your body that also keeps you away from cold. Ling Mudra is highly beneficial when it comes to handling chills or shivering due to excess cold.
6. Aakash Mudra
Daily practice of this mudra under a certified yoga instructor helps you reconnect with the higher consciousness. Aakash mudra is also known as the mudra for enlightenment as it helps you acquire good health and spiritual knowledge.
7. Yoni Mudra
If you are undergoing a lot of stress, use the yoni mudra to get away from daily life and unlock the divine feminine power within. This yoga mudra helps you stay away from the outer physical world and experience true happiness and bliss from within.
8. Shankh Mudra
Shankh Mudra is one of the yoga hand gestures the benefits of which surpass the limitations of any religion. The biggest advantage of including this yoga mudra into your daily yoga practice is it provides tons of positive effects to your respiratory system.
9. Kundalini Mudra
Kundalini Mudra is associated with your sexual energy. If you want to awaken the sexual energy, this is the yoga mudra to practice. Kundalini Mudra is concerned with the unification of your masculine and feminine energies. It is the holder of regenerative and creative force inside you.
10. Bronchial Mudra
Two of the most common respiratory problems that impact your breathing are bronchitis and asthma. The Bronchial Mudra helps you alleviate the intensity of these problems by improving your breathing pattern.
11. Surahi Mudra
Do you want to sharpen your mental faculties and improve your intellectual ability? Try the Surahi Mudra. This yoga mudra also helps you get rid of the numerous health issues like cold and rheumatism that impact your respiratory system.
12. Ganesha Mudra
Named after Hindu God, Lord Ganesha. The Ganesha Mudra lifts your spirit and gives you the willpower to persevere when you are feeling a little low. Some of the muscles to benefit from this yoga asana include the cardiac, chest, shoulders, and arms muscles.
13. Shunya Mudra
Shunya Mudra gives you relief from a number of hearing and balancing issues. This yoga mudra is excellent when you want to get rid of problems like acute pain, tinnitus numbness in your body and hearing loss.
14. Back Mudra
As the name suggests, this is an excellent yoga mudra to get rid of back pain. It is an effective yoga hand gesture that balances all the energies in your body is the Back Mudra. This helps you get rid of numerous complications arising due to pain.
15. Surabhi Mudra
If you suffer from arthritis and rheumatism, practice the Surabhi Mudra. It has a positive impact on your digestive and metabolic system. This also detoxifies the body which keeps your mood and energy level up.
16. Vayu Mudra
The best yoga mudra to reduce the amount of Vayu element in your body is Vayu Mudra. Bringing your mind to a calm state from a restless one is what this yogic hand gesture does the best. Moreover, Vayu Mudra also calms down your nervous system and offers your body and mind complete relaxation.
One of the major benefits of Vayu Mudra is it also takes care of the hormonal imbalance of the endocrine glands.
17. Apaan Mudra
If you want to detoxify your body and provide it with a major boost of energy, do Apaan Mudra. This yogic mudra, also known as purification mudra improves the balance of the Aakash and Prithvi elements in your body. The best time to practice this yoga mudra is in the early mornings.
Also read: What Is Yoga Alliance Certification?
18. Agni Mudra
An effective yoga mudra that directs the release of energy locked within your body towards the brain. Agni Mudra is popular for treating a host of medical conditions like depression, asthma, cough, diabetes, stress, cataract, and asthma.
19. Hakini Mudra
Associated with the divine within, Hakini Mudra is a hand gesture suitable for your body, mind, and spirit. If you find it a bit hard to concentrate on the task at hand, try the Hakini Mudra.
20. Prithvi Mudra
The major component present inside your body is the Earth element. It is also the major component of your bones, cartilage, nails, flesh, tendons flesh, and internal organs. Regular practice of this Prithvi Mudra strengthens these tissues. Moreover, this yoga mudra also reduces your body temperature and can help you overcome health issues like TB.
21. Brahma Mudra
Brahma Mudra is the best yoga mudra you should do early morning to find a deeper sense of peace and serenity. This hand gesture is best done when you meditate as it helps you enter a deeper meditative state.
22. Apan Vayu Mudra
When it comes to yoga mudras that promote healing, Apan Vayu Mudra always comes on the top. The other name for this yogic mudra is Mritasanjeevani Mudra, as it can save you from a heart attack.
23. Surya Mudra
The most famous yoga mudra you can practice is the Surya Mudra. This helps in reducing the Earth element, which is also the primary component of fat. Excess of the earth element in your body can lead to obesity. You can learn this yoga mudra under the tutelage of a certified yoga instructor in India.
24. Varun Mudra
Varun Mudra, also known for being the seal of mental clarity represents open and fluid communication. This yoga mudra maintains the balance of the Water elements in your body by activating the salivary glands and moistening dry eyes and skin.
25. Kubera Mudra
Kubera Mudra is the best yogic hand gesture for increasing the intent of what you desire. Since Lord Kubera is the god of wealth, this yoga mudra attracts wealth and prosperity in your life. Regular practice of Kubera Mudra also increases your patience and confidence level.
26. Prana Mudra
One of the most important yoga mudra which activates the dormant energy in your body is the Prana Mudra. This provides your body and mind with a boost of energy whenever you feel down and out. Prana Mudra also strengthens your immune system and is good for your eyes.
27. Gyan Mudra
When it comes to practicing the first yoga mudra, always remember it is Gyan Mudra. The word Gyan in Sanskrit language refers to Supreme knowledge. This yoga mudra has been in practice for thousands of years by numerous yogis and spiritual seekers around the world. Gyan Mudra helps in your spiritual progress and keeps your mind calm and peaceful.
28. Kali Mudra
The name Kali Mudra refers to the Goddess Kali who represents transformation, purification, and fearlessness. Do you want to get rid of unnecessary emotional baggage? Try the Kali Mudra as it gives you the energy to go through the day without any hassle. This is the best yoga mudra to overcome difficulties in your life.
29. Mandala Mudra
The Mandala Mudra helps center yourself and form a deeper connection with the universe. It also increases the need for meditation in your life. You should enroll in the certified yoga teacher program to know everything about this yoga mudra.
30. Jnana Mudra
Do you want to gain the ultimate wisdom? Jnana, which in the Sanskrit language means Wisdom is the hand gesture representing wisdom or knowledge. This yoga mudra removes nervous tension from your body, boosts memory power, cures insomnia, and enhances your spiritual side.
Needless to say, all these yoga mudras do offer you some impressive health benefits. Even western medicine has done numerous studies which clearly show the many benefits of daily yoga mudra practice.
Physical Health Benefits Of Yoga Mudra
Given below are some of the best health benefits of yoga mudra practice.
- Reduces the impact and occurrence of many health conditions like Arthritis.
- Has positive impact on treatment of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
- Helps you keep fresh throughout the day,
- Keep you healthy and fit.
- Decreases stress, increases happiness and concentration level.
- That is not all! Daily practice of yoga mudra does offer some great mental health benefits as well.
Mental Health Benefits Of Yoga Mudra
Yoga Mudras are the best tool to help you unlock the power within and feel better. They help you let go of every negative thought and feeling to live your life with more positivity and hope.
Yoga Mudras help you rejuvenate the tired body and mind after you come home tired from day’s work. These make you more healthy and happy in the long run.
The best way for you to release pent-up anger and negative energies from your mind and body is by doing yoga mudra.
Now, let us look at how you can prepare for practicing yoga mudras to reap the maximum benefits of this yogic technique.
Prep Tips For Yoga Mudra Practice
Remember, yoga mudra is more of an energy-body practice. You have to be patient as it takes some time for you to build up the sensitivity to enjoy the benefits. Therefore, it is important to prepare your hands before sitting in a Yoga Mudra practice.
With that said, given below are some tips to help you prepare for yoga mudra practice.
1. Heat Your Hands
Before you dive into yoga mudra practice, you must heat up your hands by rubbing them together. Rubbing activates the nerve endings in your hands which also stimulates all the vital body organs. Make sure to rub the back of your hands.
2. Shake Your Hands
The next step now is to shake your hands. This releases all the tension you hold in your hands from constant texting and messaging on your smartphone and laptop. This will activate the lymph glands and start the circulation of blood.
3. Energize Your Fingers
The final step to take before sitting for the yoga mudra exercise is to energize your fingers. This is done by bringing your arms forward and spinning one palm up and the other down.
There it is! Everything you should know about yoga mudra, its benefits, and the safe way to practice them.
Do you want to unlock your hidden potential? Enroll in Yoga Alliance certified yoga school and learn the spiritual art of yoga mudra to unlock your divine self.